Monthly Archives: September 2011

Fun Ag Facts V

Fun ag fact of the day: in the state of Arizona, it is illegal for cowboys to walk through a hotel lobby wearing their spurs.

fun ag fact of the day: only about 1 percent of the corn we grow is eaten as corn (sweet corn).

fun ag fact of the day: Avocados have the highest protein content of any fruit and they contain more potassium than bananas.

fun ag fact of the day: There are about 45 breeds of sheep in the U.S. and more than 900 in the world.

fun ag fact of the day: The black walnut is a Native American species. Currently the black walnut is used mainly as a rootstock for English walnuts. The meats are tasty but thanks to a very thick shell, they are a lot of work to crack and remove from the shell.

fun ag fact of the day: It takes 19% less feed, 12% less water, 33% less land per unit of beef produced today as compared to 1977.

fun ag fact of the day: Starbucks uses over 2% of the nation’s annual milk supply.

fun ag fact of the day: California grows about 70% of all the asparagus grown in the United States. More than 50,000 tons of asparagus are grown in California every year.

fun ag fact pf the day: 100% of US-grown dried figs come from CA.

fun ag fact of the day: Animal ag in the U.S. accounts for more than $16 billion in revenue and employs more than 2.5 million Americans.

fun ag fact of the day: Currently there are fewer than 300 kiwifruit growers in California, each farming an average of just 13 acres. Even so, California produces around 98% of the kiwifruit grown in the U.S!

fun ag fact of the day: California grows both “dry flesh” and “moist flesh” varieties of sweet potato. The “moist flesh” type is sometimes referred to as a yam, and the “dry flesh” as a sweet potato. They are both sweet potatoes.

fun ag fact of the day: About 95 percent of the apricots grown in the U.S. come from California.

Fun ag fact of the day from Miss Jenny Dewey: My post-Food Inc myth of today:The movie brings up concerns about slaughter and food safety. It doesn’t tell you is that in federally inspected slaughterhouses, those in which meat is slaughtered and can be resold, there is a USDA inspector ON-SITE the ENTIRE time the operations are going on. Sometimes more than one inspector. So it’s not like slaughter operations are just going on without any sort of regulation or supervision.

fun ag fact of the day: figs were imported from the West Indies to Spanish missions in Mexico and subsequently spread to California with the Franciscan missionaries who planted them in the mission gardens at San Diego in 1769 and up the Pacific coast to Santa Clara by 1792, Ventura by 1793, and later on to Sonoma, giving the name Mission to those first dark purple California figs.

fun ag fact of the day: Cotton is a member of the Mallow family of plants. The Arabic peoples called it “Qutun,” which is where we get the word “Cotton.”

fun ag fact of the day: The sweet potato a member of the morning glory family. The part we eat is actually an enlarged storage root!

fun ag fact of the day: 50 percent of soil is air and water. The rest is mineral and organic material.

Fun ag fact of the day: There are more than 300,000 tons of grapes grown in California annually which in turn produces 17 million gallons of wine each year.

fun ag fact of the day: The average age of U.S. farmers is 57.

fun ag fact of the day: Grapes for sparkling wine are harvested sooner with lower sugar levels and higher acidity than those picked for still wines.

fun ag fact of the day: Lettuce is actually a member of the sunflower family.

fun ag fact of the day: Georgia is the largest producer of peanuts in the United States with over 1.6 BILLION pounds (45% of the total production in the U.S.)

fun ag fact of the day: 7 out of 10 heads of lettuce grown in the U.S. are from California.

fun ag fact of the day: California produces 1 out of every 5 glasses of milk consumed in the nation.

fun ag fact of the day: There are over 800 varieties of Pecans. Sizes range from: mammoth to extra large, large, medium, small and midget.

fun ag fact of the day: The national cowherd of cattle and calves is around 31.4 million head, that is the lowest Beef Cow Inventory number in at least 38 years.

fun ag fact of the day: California ‘s 22,000 beef producers care for more than 5 million head of cattle and about 37 million acres of rangeland. Many California cattle ranches have been owned by the same family for four or five generations and most ranches are family-owned and operated.

Fun ag fact of the day: (Via Ms. Amy Sipes) A beef recall notice, not tied to illness outbreak or any illness at all, is a glaring light that the downstream system is working. Not a symptom of a greater problem.

fun ag fact of the day: The Bureau of Engraving and Printing depends on farmers to produce paper currency—75% of every bill is made of cotton.


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Keep Calm

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Filed under Ag, arts & crafts, Humor, photos

Wordless Wednesday: Foxy!


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Ranch Day with Jenny Dewey

My amazing, talented friend, Jenny Dewey came over to the Ranch a couple weeks ago. You may remember her from her guest blog. You should go over to her blog, and check out the whole series, they are breathtaking!








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Back When We Had Herefords…

We made the transition from herefords to black angus in the early 1990’s. The black calves simply brought more money at auction and they seem to have fewer health problems, like cancer eye. We have one or two old black baldy cows left, but, for the most part all that’s left of our hereford herd are old pictures like the one below. I enjoy looking at old pictures of livestock to see how breeding trends have changed. This guy below reminds me of a buffalo!


Breeding trends are especially interesting in reference to sustainability. My Dad often shares how he remembered selling calves that were two years old and 800 lbs., now we sell our 12/13 month old steers at a base weight of 850 lbs. (in a good feed year). How did we do this? Genetics, an awesome vaccination program, good nutrition, using modern technology that was available to us. In addition to improving our herd, we also improved our land. I mentioned before we laser leveled our fields to improve production. We also leave each ranch empty for 6 months out of the year. We practice rotational grazing and attempt to mimic a natural cycle.


I’ve been told that it takes 19% less feed, 12% less water, 33% less land per unit of beef produced today as compared to 1977. By looking at old pictures it really helps me to “see” the comparative advantage. It seems like animal ag has made some pretty big advance in the past 30 years. It’s exciting to see what the next 30 will bring!


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Filed under Ag, agriculture, animals, Beef, History, Know a California Farmer, meat, photos, Ranch life

Beef Documentary

This is a very well done and accurate account of the commercial beef industry. It really upsets me when people attack feedlot beef. Our commercial herd is sold to feedlots, just like this one. I’ve been lucky enough to follow our cattle from birth, to feedlot to slaughter, and they were treated with dignity and care the whole time. Hell, they had better nutrition and medical care than I do! Again if you want to know more about the commercial beef process, let me know! I will share everything I know with you, I’ll invite you over, I will SHOW you.


Filed under Ag, food, Rants

Giveaway: Body Bar


My Mom and I have made our own beauty products for as long as I can remember. In High School I had my own line of lip balm I’d sell to all my friends. One of my favorite things we make are solid body bars. Basically it is just a solid form of lotion. I love them in the summer because I store mine in the refrigerator and it feels so nice to moisturize my skin with a lovely chilled bar. But these are great year around, especially in the winter when the cold makes our skin so dry.

This week’s giveaway is for one of these bars. This particular batch is very natural. It has a slight earthy scent. I added a few drops of lavender and eucalyptus essential oils. The scent natural beeswax and cocoa butter are also noticeable.


I make each batch in my kitchen, in small batches. Each bar contains: beeswax, cocoa butter, sweet almond oil, lanolin, coconut oil,  lavender and eucalyptus essential oil and vitamin E.


You know the drill, all you have to do is comment on my blog. I’ll pick a winner from I’ll pick a winner next Thursday, September 29, 2011. Good luck!


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Wordless Wednesday: Branding


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Photo Essay: A Week in Food

For the most part (except for the prime rib), this is a pretty average week of food for us. We don’t go out a lot, but we eat pretty well at home.


Biscuits and gravy, gouda eggs, pancakes with blackberry honey butter.


Brown Ranch grass finished T bone, fingerling potatoes, honeyed acorn squash, garden salad, homemade rolls.


BBQ’ed pulled pork sandwich.


Cranberry/Orange Scones


Shredded pork enchiladas.


Brown Ranch grass finished meat loaf, with bacon weave crust.


Broasted chicken, parm/bacon brusel sprouts,  mashed yukon gold potatoes, gravy, homemade rolls.


Belgium waffles, fresh fruit salad, gouda eggs, sausage patties.


Smoked salmon with cream cheese on rustic sourdough baguette.


Prime rib, baked potato, garden salad, corn on the cob, homemade rolls.


BBQ’ed chicken, sweet potatoes, parm/bacon cashew green beans.


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Growing up, I heard a million “cowboyisms”. I wish I would have started writing them down sooner. I’ll probably add to this list as I go, and feel free to leave a comment if you have some good ones!


Slicker than two snails f*cking in a bucket of snot.

Don’t squat with your spurs on.

When you’re throwin’ your weight around, be ready to have it thrown around by somebody else.

Tougher than a $2 steak.

Working him like a borrowed mule.

If all his brains were dynamite, there wouldn’t be enough to blow his nose.

‘sucking the hind tit’

Colder than a witch’s tit in January.

It don’t take a genius to spot a goat in a flock of sheep.

Happy as a pig in shit.

Does Howdy Doody have wooden balls?

If you get to thinking you’re a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else’s dog around.

Timing has a lot to do with the success of a rain dance.

“Farming is as much as my life as is breathing”. – Blake Hurst

Never miss a good chance to shut up.

Speak your mind, but ride a fast horse.

If ya don’t know a where’s you’re a goin, it’d be a good idea not to use your spurs.

Life is hard, but it’s harder when you’re stupid. – John Wayne

If you ain’t making dust you’re eating it!

There’s more to being a cowboy than just wearing the boots.

Don’t be a woman that needs a man, be the woman a man needs.

Don’t spit into the wind.

When the mule realizes that he’s being pushed, expect to be kicked.

More hat than cowboy.

Whoever said a horse was dumb, was dumb.

The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back into your pocket.


Filed under Ag, Humor